House leader Pete Sessions reveals GOP's lack of interest in governing

The chairman of the House Rules Committee: "Everything ... should be about messaging to win back the Senate"

By Elias Isquith

Published November 6, 2013 2:00PM (EST)

Pete Sessions       (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)
Pete Sessions (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)

It's not quite on the level of Mitch McConnell's infamous quip that the GOP's "top political priority" should be to deny President Obama a second term, but a recent comment from House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions makes clear that the GOP's politics-first approach to governing remains in full force.

Speaking of his responsibilities as Rules Committee chairman, Sessions claimed that "Everything we do in this body should be about messaging to win back the Senate."

"That’s it," Sessions continued. "If you don’t want Benghazis to happen or you want an investigation for Benghazi, if you want an investigation on the IRS as opposed to the excuses that Harry Reid  is all about, if you do not like what’s happening at the [National Security Agency], then you gain the Senate.”

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While Democrats did praise Sessions in the Roll Call story, the fact that the Republican controlling the flow of legislation into the House is primarily focused on "messaging" and wresting control of the Senate from Democrats suggests that the comatose pace of business in Washington will remain ahead of the 2014 midterm elections.

Sessions has emerged as something of a controversial figure across the aisle over the past few weeks. Last month, Democrats reportedly told their colleagues that Sessions had clashed with President Barack Obama during a meeting over the shutdown, telling him, "I cannot even stand to look at you." Both Sessions' camp and the White House later denied that the encounter ever took place.

Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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Barack Obama Benghazi Harry Reid Mitch Mcconnell Nsa Pete Sessions U.s. House Of Representatives